In 2013, Ireland is hosting what they are calling The Gathering, a year dedicated to welcoming home the Irish scattered around the globe. While many companies and communities are using this branding strictly for marketing and media play, there are a few places offering useful resources for visitors.
This event-based website provides an extensive list of for that are searchable by date, county, or map. Most listings are not Gathering-specific — annual activities such as tournaments, festivals, and exhibit openings outnumber clan gatherings and special welcome “home” events), but the listing gives you a one-stop shop for finding things when and where you will be visiting. There’s an added bonus that event hosts are submitting these listings and will likely take seriously all inquiries that start with, “I’m coming to Ireland for The Gathering,” because after all they truly want to see you in their area.
The Gathering Invite and Attend App on Facebook
Built exclusively for Facebook users, this handy tool lets us browse events, add yourself to the invite list, check to see if friends are attending, and share the activity with friends. The content mirrors The Gathering website, so you don’t have snoop around multiple sites to get the whole story. Plus, the app keeps track of events you’re attending, so you can watch as your dance card fills.
B&B Ireland The Gathering
Ireland’s network of Bed &Breakfasts have added a special blog and a new accommodation category that highlight hosts who cater to guests in search of their family roots. These enthusiastic business owners share your interest in local history and are familiar with the genealogy resources in their area, so they are the perfect hometown candidates to assist in your family research. They also recommend you search their list of B&Bs with your last name… maybe you’ll end up staying with a long lost relative.
Clans of Ireland
While many family reunions and “clan” gatherings are planned for 2013, the Clans of Ireland website has listed nearly twenty official clan gatherings. Complete with contact info and website links where available, this site could help you link up with your family lineage.
The Gathering on Pinterest
The Gatherings page on the photo-centric bookmarking site Pinterest has boards that highlight things like events and festivals to help you gear up for the trip to Ireland. Knowing that Pinterest users tend to be foodies too, they even have a recipes board.
Tracing Your Ancestors Downloadable Guide
This 28-page guide has been specifically designed for researching Irish genealogy. With five pages dedicated to Irish family research links, the guide is loaded with useful information. A full list of The Gathering-approved assets are also listed at www.thegatheringireland.com/About/Tracing-your-roots.aspx#.UOb47LY3mYQ.
And as you plan your travels, be sure to visit our list of 15 Websites to Help Plan Your Trip to Ireland.
And be sure to add any other helpful Gathering-specific websites in the comments below.